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Today was a busy day, actually only half of it was planned. The rest was filling up the free time.
First thing was breakfast. Went to eat some gyudon, more specifically Takanamentai Mayo at Sukiya. Gyudon is rice topped with meat and little vegetables. Takanamentai Mayo is a variation which adds mayonnaise on top of it. It was actually quite good.
On to the first (planned) location of the today: Ikebukuro, easily accessible with the Yamanote line. It's the second busiest station in Tokyo after Shinjuku, and that really shows. It also has 2 large department stores on top of it from Tobu and Seibu. Many shops in the neighborhood, a large shopping mall (called Sunshine City) and some high skyscrapers. Here is also the main store of animate. And again, the advance ticket for Tokyo Anime Fair was sold out.
Next up is Shiodome near Shimbashi station. Again, many high skyscrapers. Many large companies have their headquarters here like: Nippon Television, Fujitsu, Yakult & Softbank. Between these skyscrapers is also the old Shimbashi railway station. It's actually a replica built on top of the site of the old one which burnt down during the great Kanto earthquake in 1926. It has a small museum in it about the old station. This station was the terminal for the very first railway in Japan that ran from Tokyo to Yokohama in 1872, later Tokyo Station became the terminal of what would later become the Tokaido line.
After this I went to Ueno, to have a walk through Ameyoko. Ameyoko is a long street next to the railway which is filled with little shops and is crowded with people. You find cheap shops here that sell candy, fish, shoes, shirts, clothes, etc. It stretches between Ueno and Okachimachi station. Since I was going to Akiba, I just walked on, because I was already half way at Okachimachi station. Went to check out some shops for a Nintendo DS, which I might buy later.
Next was what I didn't plan, went for a look in Jimbocho, the old books and musical instrument district. It also has a street full of sports shops. It's only one stop away from Akiba on the Sobu local line (Ochanomizu station). Several guitar shop full of guitars including custom artist versions. The book shop part is filled with book shops that have old and new books stacked to the ceiling. It makes you wonder just how many books have been printed.
Went back to Akiba to eat some Katsu Curry (which I happen to find right inside the station). After my evening dinner, went back to the hotel.
Animate main store in Ikebukuro
Highways right through Tokyo
Old Shimbashi station
Book shops in Jimbocho
Guitar shops in Jimbocho
The busy train stations